‘A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Towards a Shared Strategy’

2 May 2019

On 29 March 2019, Centre for Policy Futures Research Fellow, Dr Greta Nabbs-Keller was invited to present on ‘Southeast Asian Views of Major Competition’ at a Conference hosted jointly by the Embassy of Japan and the National Security College, ANU entitled: A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Towards a Shared Strategy.

The conference provided an opportunity to test and revisit the varying concepts of the Indo-Pacific evolving in the region, from the Japanese and US ‘free and open’ variants to emerging visions within Southeast Asia and the established Australian framework.

In a panel session on ‘Securing the Indo-Pacific commons in an age of Uncertainty’, Dr Nabbs-Keller discussed divergent Southeast Asian conceptions of the regional order and how Southeast Asian states are managing Beijing’s economic and political heft through a range of engagement and hedging measures. She highlighted how Jakarta’s political conceptions have fundamentally shaped the regional politico-security architecture of the Asia-Pacific over the last five decades before detailing key elements of Indonesia’s new Indo-Pacific Cooperation (IPC) concept,  with its emphasis on inclusivity and transparency.

International speakers from Japan, the United States and Singapore attended the event with opening remarks from the Ambassador of Japan and a senior official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The event was attended by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, DFAT officers, academics and representative of Southeast Asian diplomatic missions.

Podcasts will be released from the Conference and articles submitted for a special edition of the journal Security Challenges.